Prof. HO, C.P. Patrick
Deputy Chairman and Secretary-General, China Energy Fund Committee


The China Dream


Ladies and Gentleman,

For thousands of years, Chinese had a dream.

On November 29, 2012, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, laid out his vision of the “the China Dream" in these words:  “Realizing the great renewal of China is the greatest dream for the Chinese people in modern history".

Last month, after his  election as President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Xi made another call for “the China Dream" when he said that to achieve it, China must adhere  to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. 

This path is hard-earned, with impressive progress over the past 30 years of reform and opening-up, through the continuous exploration over 60 years since the establishment of New China, in the often painful 170 years of the development  of the Chinese nation in modern times, and against a backdrop of a legacy going back 5,000 years  to an ancient civilization. 

Significantly, the path to the China Dream is anchored in China’s deep cultural heritage and ancient historical roots.

To achieve “the China Dream” we must exalt the Chinese spirit, which combines the patriotic, national and traditional spirit, and the reforming and innovative spirit of the modern times. Such Chinese spirit will have the gravitating effect to revive our people and rejuvenate our country.   Realisation of this Chinese Dream calls for pooling together all strengths that are Chinese.

Mr Xi also urged that China should seek solidarity by unifying all Chinese people. This is to ensure that the opportunities made possible by the prosperity of the New China are accessible to all Chinese, so that the ordinary people can grow and prosper together with our nation and in step with modern times. China Dreams, after all is manifested by prosperity, revitalization of the nations, and the happiness of the people.

Exhilaration is tempered with mixed feelings. The Chinese people have never been so close to fulfilling their dream that goes back almost 5,000 years. 

Every dynasty and each emperor and hero had their respective China dream. Throughout China’s history, the golden eras in the Han, Tang, Ming and Qing Dynasties all brought progress and prosperity taking Chinese civilization to new heights as we chased that brilliant but elusive Chinese dragon.    

And beginning with the pain of the Opium Wars, China regained its strength and restored its spirit by moving onto the Self-Strengthening Movement of 1860, the Hundred Days' Reform of 1898, the 1911 Revolution of Sun Yat-sen, the May Fourth Movement of 1919, the establishment of the Communist Party of China in 1921, to the founding of New China in 1949.

Then followed a series of modernization movements in the 50s and 60s, the "two bombs and one satellite" goal,  the reform and opening-up,  the space dream, the World Trade Organization dream, the Olympic Games dream, the World Expo dream, Deng Xiaoping’s "Xiaokang Society", President Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents", President Hu Jintao’s "scientific development concept” etc. -- all of  them  about the dreams of modernization after  our ancient civilization had  repeatedly been challenged and sometimes bested by the achievements of the West.

Yes, we Chinese never ceased dreaming! And we have realized many of our dreams through the ages!  But this is a self-renewal process for Chinese Culture over five millennia, with the Chinese people always wishing to better their lot through hard work and commitment to traditional Chinese values. To heal old wounds, stand up from where we fell, rejuvenate and renew our collective destiny -- these are the innate qualities of our culture and the built-in quality of this civilization.

“The China Dream”, in short, is an inexhaustible motivation for the Chinese people for constant self-improvement and renewal. 

The China Dream is a national dream, but also a very personal one to every Chinese. However, no personal dream is fulfilled by oneself alone. Every dream must ultimately involve the country and society in some way.  Thus, your dream affects mine, and vice versa.  But “the China Dream” represents the Chinese people’s collective desire, and encompasses the essence of many individuals’ visions and expectations. 

The grandest dreams, at the level of the nation and State, are peace, security and prosperity.  Dreams of much smaller scale, reflecting those of the man in the street, are food, housing, education, a decent standard of living, old age security, and dignity of the individual.  Such dreams of China’s 1.3 billion people have interwoven to form the grand dream - the modern dream of China. 

That Dream is for China’s prosperity and strength, national rejuvenation, economic development, political integrity, cultural vibrancy, happiness for all, a harmonious society and ecological wellbeing.  A key feature of this Dream is  an acknowledgement that our destinies are intertwined. This much larger National Dream contrasts with those driven by individual aspirations, in that it seeks to provide a better life for everybody.  It is a national calling to a common purpose and for a collective approach in our pursuit.

Today’s China Dream calls for the comprehensive development of the five main aspects – politics, economics, culture, society and ecology – in a coordinated and holistic approach, for the purpose of fulfilling these three main goals:

·      The first goal is to enable the people nationwide to enjoy a moderately prosperous standard of living within 20 years to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (2021).

·      The second goal is to achieve the full realization of modern socialism with Chinese characteristics in another 30 years as a tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (2049).

·      The third goal is the progressive realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese People in the 21st century.

I believe that as “the China Dream” is being fulfilled, China will be able to assume more international responsibilities and obligations commensurate with its influence and renewed confidence, projecting the voices of 1.3 billion Chinese people to promote a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity, and making greater contributions to world peace for the betterment of humanity.

A very famous Chinese, Sun Yat-sen, once had this dream:

“Once our goal of modernizing China is accomplished, the dawn of a new century will shine upon our beautiful country, and the whole of humanity will enjoy a more brilliant future”

A not-so-famous Chinese, Patrick HO, also had a dream:

“ I have a dream. I dream of a cultural China, with ideas and values to inspire humanity.  The redefinition of Chinese core values signifies the awakening of a modern humanity, and would eventually lead to another human Renaissance of the modern time.”

This China dream, is not only the Dream of 1.3 billion Chinese over 5,000 years, it is also a World Dream. It is a Dream of Peace under Heaven, and the World as One.

This dream belongs to all of us.

It belongs to you, and me.

Thank you. 

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